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Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY!

Well, here in Colorado it is officially spring. The weather is warming, the evenings getting longer. I thought perhaps we all might enjoy a short trip to the zoo.
It was a dark and stormy night (I can't help it - as a writer I've always wanted to use that J). Winter in Seattle: rainy, cold, and downright miserable.

The team had been hired to trace the supplier of a specific drug. Legwork and extended surveillance on a possible abuser of the drug finally resulted in a location, a Japanese restaurant downtown. Checking the place out revealed that the restaurant was most likely a front for the Yaks, with a couple of tough-looking cybered (and probably armed) Japanese gangster types in obvious residence.

Despite the other player's recommendations, the cat shaman decides to scope the place out for evidence ALONE and goes in using an invisibility spell. After sneaking past all the patrons, yakuza soldiers, and the manager of the restaurant (very lucky!), he proceeded upstairs to an office on the second floor. Not being able to access the computer in the office, he tries the desk drawers, and finds one locked. He failed miserably at picking the lock (still sustaining the invisibility spell).

Shaman: OK, then I'll try to force the lock.
GM: "What strength do you have?"
Shaman: "ummm. Two."
GM: (rolls dice vs. the heavy desk's barrier rating of 6). "You try with all your might to open the desk, but the heavy wood and lock are too strong." (perception roll to see if anyone downstairs hears anything - they don't).
Shaman: "OK. I have a shapechange spell. I'm going to shapechange into a panther so my strength increases to eight!
GM: "Sure, but remember that it only changes YOU, not weapons, armour, or clothing."
Shaman: "That's no problem, I'll strip off naked first!"
GM: (trying not to grin as he imagines this fellow stripping in the middle of Yak territory). "OK ermmm, you strip off all your clothes. Roll for your spell, please."
Shaman: "Right, I'll drop my invisibility to make the casting easier"
GM: "OK, you make yourself visible again and change into a panther."
Shaman: "I'm going to try and open the desk now."
GM: "Well, you're a panther. You have no hands, so the only way you can do it is to smash the desk to pieces."
Shaman: "OK!" (rolls dice and easily succeeds after one or two turns of bashing the heavy piece of furniture, AND destroying the computer ON the desk in the process.)
GM: (rolling perception tests once more for the people below. Needless to say, the loud crashes from above finally catches the attention of one of the Yak soldiers, who promptly heads upstairs to investigate, then rolls shaman's perception). "You hear somebody making their way up the stairs."
Shaman: "Right, I'll cast invisibility again and stand in the corner. (rolls and succeeds)
GM: "A short Japanese man in a suit comes into the room. The desk is splintered into pieces on the floor, and he looks about, shocked. He notices your equipment and clothes in a pile on the floor."
Shaman: "Damn! Right, I'm gonna run out the door."
GM: "The man is still in the doorway. He pulls a gun and is looking about with suspicion."
Shaman: "OK, I'll manabolt him.
GM: "You still have the invisibility and the shapechange sustained, so it's a plus to the difficulty."
Shaman: (rolls dice and fails due to the high target number).
GM: "The man realizes he is being attacked, screams in Japanese, and begins to fire randomly through the room" (rolls for blind fire). "A few stray bullets whiz past you and hit the wall, barely missing your naked panther body."
Shaman: "I'm still naked. Right, I'll jump through the window."
   (Insert: shocked look and sniggers from the rest of the group)
GM: "You run up to the second floor window and attempt to jump through it..." (Compares strength vs. bulletproof plexiglass window - a fact that legwork hadn't uncovered.) "you hit the window with a thud and bounce off it. Roll for damage." (shaman takes moderate stun) "The Japanese man sees the window shake and hears your body impact. Still shouting, he begins to shoot in your general direction. (Shaman takes a light wound from bullet).
Shaman: "Damn! OK, I'll have another go."
GM: (absolute look of disbelief) "OK, you try to jump out the window again. You hit the window with a bang (dice rolling) and take another moderate stun."
   (At this time the players are urging the shaman to just barge his way through the door)
Shaman: "Just one more try!" (more dice, and a light stun this time)
GM: "The window cracks as you hit it, but you bounce off again and land on the floor feeling dizzy."
Shaman: "OK, I'll try and run past the guy in the doorway." (more rolling and use of karma!)
GM: "With the amount of damage you have taken and two sustained spells, you barely manage to make it past the guy and down the stairs. You even manage to slip by the two heavily armed men on their way upstairs."
Shaman: "Good. I'll run out through the restaurant kitchen and out the back."
GM: "You run into a back storage area with a high fence leading into the alley."

So, to make a nauseatingly long story short, the shaman has to drop both spells after several unsuccessful attempts at climbing the fence and eventually makes it out into the street, injured, naked, and very visible in the cold winter rain. He can't contact the team because his phone, money and everything else he was carrying was left in the yakuza office, and the team has to leave due to the yak soldiers checking the area.

The GM who sent me this sordid tale did mention, however, that the shaman was tracked by ritual sorcery on his gear and promptly hunted down, a fact that made his life Very Difficult for quite some time.

OK, that's the lion and tiger part (OK, panther, close enough! - picky, picky, picky.). Now the bear. Oh… my.

Picture this. A dragon had committed suicide (why I won't get into) by dropping from thousands of feet high straight down onto a redwood tree, impaling itself. Needless to say, the attempt succeeded.

So my group of runners (yes, this is my group. Again. Sheesh. And people wonder WHY I continue my efforts with CLUE. I guess if I didn't have an outlet for my anguish, I'd end up like that dragon?). Right. To continue, MY group of runners found the body and, gleeful at the amount of money they could make by selling parts, start scavenging the corpse.

It was like watching kids at a Toys-r-Us.

Anyway, the Sammie of the group was on the ground, keeping watch. He hears a noise behind him, and turns to see a HUGE bear (read Piasma) shuffling out of the undergrowth towards this huge wonderful mound of food rotting nicely in the warm sunshine.

GM: "It's huge. What do you do?"
Sammie: "I turn and face it."
GM: "It stands on its hind legs and snarls at you menacingly."
Sammie: "I snarl back."

Needless to say, the bear attacked. =sigh= To this day, whenever a bear is mentioned, the other players manage to ask this fellow if he would like to snarl at it.

See you next month!

Karen - karenmr@shadowrun.html.com

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